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Team 3:  Draeger, Haertl, Tipecska


Complete Game Document:

Gameplay Trailer:



Git Repository:

https://github.com/JTipecska/GamesLaboratory

Build:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oWWeFttzgpUEEwE4VHSRX9I9bQSMbQ4R

Proposal Presentation:

Prototype Presentation:

Interim Presentation:


Alpha Presentation:

Playtesting Presentation:

Final Presentation:


Demo Day:



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8 Comments

  1. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I think your idea for the player interaction with light and shadows is an absolutely ideal core game mechanic for a puzzle game. I also like that you have a detailed background story and that you are planning to address storytelling and sound design in the low and desirable target, because these are a lot more important for a puzzle game than for other genres.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Exclusively relying on collectibles to keep the player motivated to solve the puzzles could be a problem, especially if the puzzles are difficult and the amount of in-level storytelling is reduced due to a shortage of time. So maybe you can try to find other ways to motivate the player or give them the possibility to progress even if they are stuck in a certain level. I think the game The Swapper has a good way to do this: each completed area gives the player some amount of orbs, that can then be spent to unlock other areas. This way the player always has a few different levels to choose from and can continue even if he can't solve one of them.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Most good puzzle games are crucially dependent on level design, so investing a lot of time into it is probably a good idea. I can recommend looking at Braid as a 2D puzzle game with excellent level design, because the player can understand the core game mechanics even without a real tutorial: first a relatively simple core mechanic, in this case reverting the time to undo player actions, is introduced. Then variations of the core mechanic are included, like objects that are unaffected from time rewinding, coupling the flow of time with the player movement or a ring that slows down the time in an area around it. Once a new variation is established, it is combined with older ones for more complex puzzles. For your game, keeping the basic mechanic of manipulating shadows and using them to circumvent obstacles as intuitive as possible and adding variations later on, could be a good baseline to come up with different levels.


  2. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I like the general idea with the shadow world and the normal world.

    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    The movement of the light and camera. I mean the character moves in 2d and then the player has to move the lights in 3d? (im not sure if you meant it like that? )

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    I would prefer it when the shadow of the character would also be affected by the light position.I kinda know it mostly kills all ideas to make puzzles out of the idea (or at least i dont have any) but how you currently want to do it feels odd to me.


    Overall i hope you get the interaction in the shadow world right. like character colliding and jumping on shadows, and also shadows moving the character (with dynamic lights this might happen)

  3. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    I really like the story you came up with! It's great to have that settled when creating artwork and starting to implement everything!


    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    After the presentation on Monday, you mentioned that you would be using the unity Shadows and lighting in addition to your own shadow calculation method. I think this is unnecessary, especially if you try to lay both self rendered and unity based shadows on top of each other.


    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    I would implement a kind of shadow-mesh-based shadowing system. This way you cold map the vertices of the shadows directly onto the back plane of the map. In addition to that you could write a simple shader for the shadow meshes to shade all items inside of their volumes darker than the surrounding items. Since you are mainly only using one active light this should be a fairly easy task and you would not have to bother perfectly syncing the positions of the shadow colliders with the unity shadows.

  4. 1. What is your favourite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    The exploration aspect. With appropriate world building and atmosphere, the game could really come alive. I suggest weaving the story elements into the gameplay itself. For example, darkness for mystery and terror, light where the player character has hope and safety, difficult puzzles or scripted solutions when the character is confused (according to the story). I hope I explained the idea well. This would really make the game more interesting to play.

    2. What is your least favourite aspect? Why?

    The lack of varied game mechanics. "Shadow walking" is a good and interesting mechanic in and of itself but it really needs other mechanics/abilities which would make the game fun. Perhaps let the character himself have more of a role than just changing light positions and object placements on the outside. Give him a grapple or something? If it's vital to the story that he remains powerless, then have random but rare moments where the suit takes over and the shadow goes rogue when players switch during gameplay. That way they understand the dangers of the suit.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Except the one mentioned above, I would also suggest adding some simple enemies or hazards that the actual character has to deal with. Perhaps the shadow character can help by interacting with the shadows of traps or chandeliers to drop on the enemies before the switching back to the human character. This would add some "co-op" interaction between the shadow and human states other than just puzzle solving. The shadow can fight the shadows of enemies and defeat them but the human character can only run. If the shadow were to go rogue during such an encounter, have it viciously obliterate all the enemy shadows to show how dangerous the power is.

  5. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    Your game idea could easily lead to interesting and complex puzzles, as moving a light source can change multiple shadows and therefore affect multiple parts of a puzzle.

    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    I'm not sure how you want to combine the exterior areas/setting with the shadow puzzle concept. Managing the shadow objects on plain walls should be much easier, so interiors might be better suited.

    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Multiple light sources might be a nice (and maybe quite straightforward) addition once you have the system for one light, as it would allow for more complex puzzles.

  6. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    The shadow/main body puzzles. Sounds really interesting and different.

    What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Cutscenes. This is just my personal opinion, I don't think a game should completely remove the character control for a long time just for storytelling

    Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Why not integrate storytelling with the gameplay? Introduce the story as a short tutorial, for example.

  7. From Daniel Probst (MDH):

    1. What is your favourite aspect of the proposed game? Why?
    My favourite part was easily the rough Idea of the setting, having been stranded on an unknown planet and now being forced to traverse it on a search for a way out. It is a beautiful reminder of Metroid and has a lot of potential to set a great atmosphere and create moments of exploration and discovery.

    2. What is your least favourite aspect? Why?
    Sadly, my biggest problem is the core gameplay. While it sounds like it could(!) be a lot of fun to experiment and learn the different ways the Umra Suit works, it feels like it has not been thought through to the end. The lack of example power ups or level mock ups really give me a strong concern here, and I fear that the shadow manipulation only stays interesting for the first third of the game and becomes tedious afterwards.
    But if the Team has already planned out some different levels and obstacles, as well as power ups that introduce variety and new aspects to the gameplay I am well inclined to believe that my fears could be unreasonable.

    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?
    This ties in closely with my least favourite aspect, so I might repeat myself here a bit.
    The main concern at the moment (in my eyes) is the fact that there is very much unclear in core gameplay areas. As such adding some clearly defined levels and “ability’s” would make it far more plannable.

    4. Anything else you find worth noting about the game?
    I do not know if it is actually helpful if the player collects the spaceship parts, as this will for once create the awkward situation of him caring his whole ship around with him and secondly make it very clear how the game is going to end. Personally, I would recommend trying to underline the theme of unknown and mystery that the setting (and name) suggest by not giving the player a clear goal.
    Instead let him wander this strange world, for example striving to get to some ancient facility that he saw while crashing down in a last hope to find some way of calling for help or escaping.
    And lastly having three movement controls for player, light and camera will certainly get confusing at first, so be mindful of it and either make sure the player is not overwhelmed by it or change it somehow.

  8. 1. What is your favorite aspect of the proposed game? Why?

    The interaction between light and shadow sound like a fun core gameplay mechanic, that also leaves a lot of room to design a lot of interesting levels. That the player not only moves their character, but also the lightsource seems interesting.


    2. What is your least favorite aspect? Why?

    Well, I didn't quite understand how the lightsource moving is really supposed to work (though, as mentioned, I do like it as a mechanic overall). To me it seems like the movement has to be heavily restricted, otherwise it would be really easy to just always place the light at a point that completely denies the level design. However, if it is really restrictive it could also become super easy to solve.


    3. Which single change or addition would you suggest to most improve the game?

    Make some example puzzles really early. Something simple and then something harder. See how long it takes you to design them. Speaking out of experience from last semester, the group that tried to do a puzzle game realized that coming up with fun puzzles is quite hard and time consuming. Your game idea sounds awesome, but the details of it *could* be quite a challange.


    As for a more actually game related suggestion, multiple lightsources could be cool (then you could also restrict them quite heavily as the complexity would come from their combination). Might make the puzzles even harder to design, though.